I think it's very strange that the king was not present in the most important trial in the recent history of Westeros and nobody seemed to care. Why did Margaery only very late ask about her spouse? What about the High Sparrow, had he also forgotten about the second pillar of the empire? I wouldn't have thought that Loras' trial could even begin without the presence of the king. As seen it was necessary for Tommen to announce it and declare the changing of the rules (no trial by combat). So how is is possible that no one seems to care about his absence during the trial?

Is there something I missed about the Westerosi judicial system or is this just a huge plothole?

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    Same question referring to the same king but a different (earlier) trial: movies.stackexchange.com/q/51166/27759 Jul 10, 2016 at 15:50
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    True. But since that, a lot has changed. The High Sparrow needed the approval of the king to schedule that trial. So it´s quite weird (and inconsistent with his former actions) that he doesn´t want him to be present to demonstrate the new-found union of faith and wordly power. Plus, Tommen is not the same that he was when Tyrion had his trial. Yes, he is still half a child. But he must have reigned some years now, so his absence, that then seemed understandable would seem strange now to the public. And it also doesn´t explain why the otherwise so perceptive Margaery didn´t give thought to it.
    – Crazy8
    Jul 10, 2016 at 16:16
  • But also, the trial of his brother in law is much less personally relevant to him than the trial of his uncle for murdering his brother. Tyrion's trial was also all "In the name of King Tommen" etc - as a secular trial it was more led by the monarch than a religious one. Margaery did notice when he didn't arrive for the one that is personally relevant to his (his mother's trial). Jul 10, 2016 at 17:21
  • Also, why do you think nobody noticed? Everyone knew Tommen was young and a bit soft. That's essentially why he didn't attend Tyrion's trial. Saying "Where is King Tommen?" at Loras's trial would look like a criticism. Seems much more likely that people were thinking "Typical, the King has wussed out of attending an awkward family trial again", but no-one wanted to be noted as the troublemaker who called the king out for it or drew attention to it. Jul 10, 2016 at 17:25
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    Margaery notices Tommen's absence from the trial. At 15:18 into the episode, Margaery says to the high sparrow "Cersei is not here. Tommen is not here. Why do you think they are not here?" Jul 10, 2016 at 19:52

3 Answers 3


The trial was to be judged by seven religious members, positions for which Tommen wasn't eligible - be it due to his bias or simply not having the 'religious credentials'.

Also, in the previous episodes, he had delegated a significant amount of power to the High Sparrow, so it's not like this was a trial that he would need to oversee, as the HS likely held more power than he did there. (Not too sure about that last one, just my best guess)

So the only reason he would come would be for show I guess, he wouldn't exactly have anything to do there other than watch the events unfold before him.

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    The "For the Show" part is not as irrelevant as it seems. There had never been a formal transferring of power to the High Sparrow. That includes the juridical system. So it is of paramount importance for the HS to show up with the king so everybody knows that they speak as one. BTW the question was not about whether he had to run that trial personally - it´s quite clear that he had handed that over. It was about why nobody seemed to notice his absence. I think we agree that it is not common that a king unexplainedly is not present in one of the realm´s biggest announced events in recent years
    – Crazy8
    Jul 10, 2016 at 16:38
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    @Crazy8 "I think we agree that it is not common that a king unexplainedly is not present in one of the realm´s biggest announced events" - erm, Tommen had already made a habit of it... wasn't he absent from both Tyrion's trials, Cersei's walk of shame, the hearing... don't remember seeing him at any of those. In fact I'm struggling to think of a difficult announced event he didn't duck out of! Jul 10, 2016 at 17:30
  • ...all of which was before he publicly formed an alliance with the HS. Which meant breaking with his mother. In the other cases members of his family were being tried/publicly humiliated without his full consent. Now he himself had announced time and terms of the trial after having sworn his faith to religion before the public. That´s a significant change. So there was every reason to believe that he would attend this time. And again: It could not have been in the High Sparrow´s interest to have him missing the trial.
    – Crazy8
    Jul 10, 2016 at 17:45
  • @Crazy8 Okay, imagine you're at Loras's trial, and you have this exact thought process. What do you say? What do you do? If it was me, I might mutter "I was expecting Tommen to show up this time, for once. I thought he'd broken out of his mother's grasp and grown some balls. Disappointing", later, in private, to someone I trusted. I'd keep my thoughts to myself where Tommen's wife, great uncle Kev, father in law Mace, and others could hear. Would you offend the royal family by publicly drawing attention to the embarrasing fact the king appears to have dodged his brother-in-law's trial? Why? Jul 10, 2016 at 21:57
  • @user568458: I think you still don´t get my point. Which is, that because of the bad impression that Tommen's absence leaves (and that you rightly described) also the High Sparrow's claim for power is damaged. His strong position stems from this bond with the king and not the least from the fact that he has won his trust over his mother's. So why would he let the chance slip to demonstrate this once more in the trial? Why would he permit people to think that his mother is more important to him again than faith? I think him being indifferent about it is not congruent with the former events.
    – Crazy8
    Jul 14, 2016 at 11:02

As others have mentioned already, there is no real need for Tommen to be there. Even though the trial is public, only two parts are necessary: the judge(s) and the tried.

Tommen was not required to be there as well as Margaery and Mace Tyrell. You are right saying that there was a formal "alliance" between the crown and the faith, nevertheless as the faith does not takes part in political decisions there is no need for the crown to take part in religious events if not for strictly personal reasons, therefore Tommen would have been allowed to witness as man and believer, not as a king.

The high sparrow doesn't care about his absence because he is sure that Cersei would have been tried and judged, whether she showed up or not. Everybody probably thought that seeing his mother tried again would have been too much for him.


Some people may want all this long answers, but I think that Tommen's absence was Cersei's doing. Since Cersei planned to burn the sept with the High Sparrow, Lord Mace Tyrell, Olenna Tyrell, Margaery Tyrell and Loras Tyrell she forbid her son to attend his mother's and his wife's brother's trial.

  • The question is "how is it possible that no one seems to care about his absence during the trial?", not "why wasn't he there?". Dec 23, 2016 at 16:30

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